AUSTIN (KXAN) — The looting and trashing of Austin businesses continues Sunday night, the second straight night that destruction followed mostly peaceful protests downtown.
Dozens of people broke into and stole from World Liquor and Tobacco overnight Monday — not once but twice. KXAN’s Candy Rodriguez spoke with the store manager live on KXAN News Today as he looked over the destruction.
Surveillance footage shows people breaking down the door with heavy rocks and rushing into the store, grabbing bottles of liquor and other items off shelves and running out. There was extensive damage to both products and store property during the first incident that happened around midnight, and then another incident about 1.5 hours later.
Manager Adil Malik said it was, “something he’s never seen.”
“We have a good group of customers come in, and we never have robberies,” Malik said. “It was a surprise for all us. We fixed what we could, but it has been very difficult for everyone.”
Looters broke down the gate the family put on the front door after the first looting incident. The store is located at 805 E. 6th St.
It’s a family business, Malik said, and his father and a friend came to Austin in the ’80s “for a dream.”
“It took them awhile to get to this point,” Malik said, “and to see this just breaks my heart.”
Surveillance footage showed about 25-30 people running behind the register, grabbing three or four bottles at a time, pushing, shoving each other out of the way, Malik said. After the second looting alert, Malik said he and his brother went to the store and have been there since.
Malik doesn’t know for sure about total damage to his family’s store, but he guessed “at least six figures.”
“It will be a pretty hefty amount, I can say that,” he said.
He also had a message for Austinites:
“There’s a way to do things, there’s a way to do things but this is not the way. And so as Americans, we can do much better, I know we can.”
Mayor Adler said curfew is possible
While nothing is set, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said one way to combat looting is to impose a citywide curfew.
More than 20 cities across the country have instituted curfews, including San Antonio and Dallas. Houston and Austin are two large Texas cities that haven’t yet.
Chief Manley will increase APD presence all week
APD Chief Brain Manley said he’s going to increase police presence throughout the week, he said in an interview with KXAN, after he called in every officer APD has over the weekend to help manage crowds of people.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputies provided support to APD during the protests, Manley said. He wants to make sure there are enough officers to handle calls of looting and property damage.
He said he’s going to meet with social justice groups and organizations, and he said those established groups have a reputation for having peaceful protests are very important to the city.